For you Windows users who have always wanted to check out Linux but don't want to install it on your computer or don't have an extra computer lying around to install it on have another option to get your Linux fix. The Universal USB Installer will let you install Linux on a flash drive and then boot your computer with it and run Linux on your Windows based or other OS based computer without affecting your current Windows installation.

The only catch is that this is a temporary instance of Linux and once you shut down your computer then Linux goes away with it unless you boot up with the flash drive again. This setup comes in handy if you just want to play around with Linux or better yet if Windows crashes and you need to get into your hard drive to get some files off your computer before formatting the drive and reinstalling Windows. Some distributions will have the option to install Linux from your bootable flash drive though.


To use the Universal USB Installer you will need a flash drive with a decent amount of capacity. The size will depend on what version of Linux you are going to use since some versions are around 700MB and others can be over 3GB. You most likely don't need the full blown version with all the bells and whistles since it's just a temporary/minimal installation you will be working with. A 4GB flash drive should work fine for most cases.

You will also need to download an iso image file of the version of Linux you want to boot to. If you don't know where to download the iso file from you can run the Universal USB Installer, choose a flavor of Linux that sounds interesting or that you have heard about and check the Opted to Download the iso box or click the Visit the Linux flavor Home Page link. If you have already downloaded your iso then you will need to browse to the location where the file is located at.

Next you will select your USB drive by letter from the dropdown list. If it's not shown but you know its connected you can check the Show all Drives box but make sure you choose the right drive letter to match your USB drive to avoid overwriting any data on your hard drive. The format drive box is optional and you most likely don't need to do that unless you want any extra data on your flash drive erased.

Universal USB Installer

The persistent file size for storing changes option allows you to save data changes back to the flash drive instead of leaving the information in RAM which gets erased when you shut down the computer. Then you can use this data again when you boot to the USB drive again, even if you are booting the drive on a different computer.

After you choose all your settings and click the Create button you will get to review your settings before proceeding.

Universal USB Installer

Then click on Yes to continue or no to go back and make changes. The Universal USB Installer will then extract the iso file and setup your flash drive with the Linux image you chose.

Universal USB Installer

Universal USB Installer

When the process is complete you can click on Close and prepare to boot your computer with your new Linux boot flash drive.

To boot your computer with from a USB flash drive you need to have a motherboard that supports this feature and will need to go into the BIOS and set your computer to boot to the USB drive as the first boot device. Some computers like to have the drive inserted when going into the BIOS so that it's recognized as and can be set as a bootable device.

The Universal USB Installer can be downloaded here for free.

Pin It

Join Us On FaceBook

We Recommend:



Join Us On Twitter

Get insights into the computer industry and regular updates on our site. Click Here

OCT Youtube Channel

New tech tip videos posted on a regular basis. Subscribe today! Click Here

Sponsored

LATEST VIDEOS

Take control of your Outlook junk mail   If...

Cut Yourself Out a Slice of Data As you probably know...

Mount an ISO Image File in a VirtualBox VM Oracle Vi...

Get Rid Of Those Unwanted Windows Apps Starting with ...

Find Your Wireless Password With Ease Many of us have...

3 Ways to Rename your Computer When you install Windo...

RECENT TIPS

Do you think your computer has a malware i...

How safe is your personal data?   Hacking...

Are your gaming skills up to par?   Onlin...

An easier way to scan PDF documents   If ...

Keep your computer safe while you are in school ...

How Icons Can Be Used in Website Design The S...

NEWS

Another reason to keep your devices up to date. If you ...

Try not to get the BlueKeep Blues Once again the Micros...

Are Your Chrome Credentials Secure? Many people like to...

Windows 10 Optional Updates Coming Soon If you can reme...

Is a Virtual Private Network right for you? &nb...

Use Some Cache to Speed Up Chrome If you use the popula...